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Work towards oneness – Archbishop
November 29, 2022

2nd Sunday of Advent (A)

In due course

By Abbot John Pereira OSB

MATT 3:1–12

“In due course John the Baptist appeared …” (Mt 3:1)

Matthew is not concerned about biographical details. He doesn’t tell us anything about John’s parents! Suddenly, out of nowhere John appears abruptly! What God had done originally; God could do again.

Matthew understands John’s original preaching in a Christian sense: inclusion in the holy people of God and acceptance at the last judgement is based not on descent from Abraham (not on blood or biology) and belonging to empirical Israel, but on response to the call to decision, to baptism, and to the corresponding “fruits”.

The abrupt appearance of John in Matthew’s Gospel tells us that the action of God in history is often unannounced, sudden, unexpected, and, to our eyes, even intrusive.

God’s Will does not always work gently, climbing quietly like ivy up the lattice of history. Sometimes an Elijah appears, a nation repents, a Berlin wall is dismantled, a Tubal Uriah ‘Buzz’ Butler strides across the labour landscape. Often, God’s Will breaks in on the world as a surprise.

So, the doors of Matthew’s Gospel swing open, with John standing in the wilderness and proclaiming a message of repentance just like the prophets of old.

There is nothing which prepares us for this: “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is close at hand” (Mt 3:2). He heralds the One who is to bring us peace… the Christ!

Today, John has come! And he continues to come into our lives, often in very unexpected and sudden ways. As we enter further into the Season of Advent, let us know that God often comes in sudden and unexpected ways, unannounced, just like the appearing of John the Baptist “in due course”.  When we experience our moments of anxiety, loneliness, and wilderness, when we enter upon our own desert experiences, let us not lose hope.

John will always appear and “in due course”!



Heavenly Father, there have been times when I did not know where to turn. I had lost hope and faith. Then, suddenly, out of nowhere and in due course, I felt transformed.

I thank You, Lord, for always sending John the Baptist into my life. He appears suddenly and in due course.

I thank You, Lord, that John often comes in ways that are sudden, unexpected, and intrusive. Please give me the grace to always accept John as a messenger of hope, peace, and love. Amen.


The gospel reflections for December are by Abbot John Pereira OSB of the Abbey of Our Lady of Exile, Mount St Benedict.

Photo by kazuend on Unsplash